Category Archives: La Roux

New Music Monday

We’re still reeling from a story we’ve just read regarding a member of the Roll Deep crew suffering from ‘sleep weeing’, i.e. he wets the bed. Why on earth do we need to know this? Is it an elaborate cry for help, some kind of grime out reach program or simply a way of adding another layer to the 360 degree model of publicity? Either way, it’s not helping one bit with the fall-out from last week’s  fairly dismal edition of New Music Monday. La Roux‘s thing probably wasn’t even chart eligible, The xx live EP was out a while back (although their album has risen again to a new peak of 13 in the album charts) and the amazing Gorillaz single missed the top 40 completely. In slightly more heartening news, that Jedward album entered at number 17 and though that’s approximately 158 places too high, it does still show that not all humans under the age of ten are completely hopeless. For reasons we’ve yet to fully understand, we follow the Irish twins on Twitter and their ‘twats’ (that’s the word, right?) are a riot of malapropisms and strangely cult-ish orders directed at their fans. Anyways, eyes down for this week’s installment.

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Crazy For You by Best Coast

It feels like Best Coast have been around forever, not just because their brand of ’60s-influenced guitar-based singalongs have a timeless feel about them, but also because we remember reading about them about eighteen months ago. OK, so not ‘forever’ exactly, but still, it’s been a while. Their early singles – The Sun Was High (So Was I) and When I’m With You – were properly amazing and so it’s somewhat surprising that they don’t appear on this debut release, but it’s testament to the quality of the songs that do make it that they’re only marginally missed. Opener ‘Boyfriend’ is an instant classic,  whilst tracks such as ‘Summer Mood’ and ‘Our Deal’ showcase singer Beth Consentino’s ability to mix humour and heartbreak. Also, if you fancy buying another album with a cat on the cover, why not go for Wavves‘ King Of Beach (in fact, it’s the same cat on both covers as Beth’s boyfriend is Nathan Williams, the bloke from Wavves)?

BUY THIS IF YOU LIKE THIS SORT OF THING

The Suburbs by Arcade Fire

We’ve yet to make our minds up about this band. Yes, Funeral is good, but Neon Bible was like some preaching manual set to music and we have a problem with their sneery side and the fact that they seem to think that adding a harmonium to a song is in some way thought-provoking and, like, really IMPORTANT. Anyways, this isn’t the music’s fault, is it? No, the poor music just wants to be listened to on its own merits so we will give it a whirl and get back to you.

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‘Self Control’ by Sunday Girl

We’re big fans of maudlin electropop chanteuse Sunday Girl. Have we mentioned we interviewed her once? Have we? Yes? Oh, OK. Well, this is her second single and it’s a cover, but it’s a cover of a song that came out ages ago (well, in the ’80s) so only old fogies will remember it, so who really cares, right? This version is a little bit brooding, a little bit ‘down in the dumps’, but it’s also really catchy and memorable. She reminds us a bit of Siobhan Donaghy from Sugababes mk 1, and we all know how well her solo career panned out. The comparison is slightly clearer if you watch the video.

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New Music Monday

Blimey it’s muggy tonight isn’t it? Phew. Anyway, most of you followed our advice and steered well clear of Richard Ashcroft‘s latest ego massage, the woeful RPA & The United Nations of Wank. The album entered at no. 20, which is still far too high of course, but it’s still a lot lower than he’s used to so that’s something. Perhaps he’ll learn some humility now. Of course no one bothered with the Mount Kimbie album, but that’s cool, it’s your loss. The Panda Bear single also did nothing and we have to confess, we’ve not really played it since last week either, so that’s hardly a great endorsement. Anyway, this is a pretty barren week so please forgive us (to give you an idea of the options, let’s just say one thing…JEDWARD! For serious).

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iTunes Festival: London by The xx

This came out a few weeks ago but we thought it timely to mention now seeing as they’re favourites to walk off with the Mercury Prize for their astounding debut, xx. Off the back of the all this exposure, the album has climbed to a new peak of 16 and ‘Islands’ has been A-listed by Radio 1. HURRAH. This six-track live EP is properly great in and of itself, recasting some of the best album tracks in a whole new light, either by slowing them down (‘Islands’), extending them (‘Intro’) or dropping Ibiza anthem ‘9pm (Till I Come)’ into the middle of them (‘Shelter’). It’s well worth checking out and only costs, like, £3 or something totes ridic.

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Sidetracked by La Roux

This is a compilation album with songs picked by Elly Jackson and unsurprisingly there’s a lot of ’80s dance on there (Japan, Heaven 17, Tears For Fears, etc, etc). There’s also a brand new La Roux recording, a cover of The Rolling Stones ‘Under My Thumb’ and you can listen to two minutes of it here. Seriously, such a slow week.

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‘Melancholy Hill’ by Gorillaz

This is the sort of song Damon does so well these days; lilting, melancholic (obviously, it’s in the title), strangely lovely and very hummable. It’s also one of the better songs on Plastic Beach, an album we very much enjoy listening to, but there are times when we want everyone to just calm down and stop shouting. This song let’s us have a breather and therefore we like it a lot.

Will Young’s American Idol journey

So, whilst La Roux‘s current American success (‘Bulletproof’ is at number 8 on the Billboard charts) is somewhat of a surprise, it’s got nothing on this odd tale. Basically, every year American Idol has a song that soundtracks the losers, or rather “the emotional exits”, and this year they picked Will Young‘s 2003 UK number 1, ‘Leave Right Now’. So, as another Abercrombie & Fitch wearing young buck or mildly obese mother of four gets the boot, American viewers are hearing Young’s not unpleasant tones trying to make it all that much easier. The song has now started to climb the Billboard chart and Young even performed it during the final show. You can watch it here:

He looks absolutely over the moon to be there, doesn’t he? Still, goes to show you can’t keep a good song down for long.

Musick’s Top 20 albums: 17

La Roux – La Roux

There are very simple rules when it comes to having a top 3 single. Firstly, the song must enter high and then drop down rapidly. Secondly, the song must be by an established act and/or talent show winner. Thirdly, if neither of the former, then the song must be on an advert or a pleasant listen for when you’re driving in your car or sat in the kitchen. Somehow, La Roux’s ‘In For The Kill’ managed to break all these rules, taking on a life of its own as it slowly clambered into the public consciousness. Fronted by the shock of red hair that is Elly Jackson, La Roux managed to combine icy synths and cheap beats with lyrics about love and loss to create a handful of perfect pop singles.

Key track: ‘In For The Kill’

Roux do you think you are?

Just in time for that Mercury prize malarkey next week, everyone’s favourite haircut, La Roux, is back with a new single, ‘I’m Not Your Toy’. Nothing too newsworthy in that you might think, but just wait until you see the video, which is simultaneously baffling, amazing, pointlessly arty and visually arresting.

Things to look out for:

– The young kid with the most expressive face you’ll ever see (those eyebrows!)
– Some nifty eye movements from what looks like a giant melon
– A dog with two collars on
– Some dancing from Miss La Roux herself, complete with actual smile
– The immortal line “das ist der absolut hammer” spoken down an imaginary telephone in a living room whilst La Roux’s head spins round on the table
– !?!

WATCH IT BY CLICKING HERE RIGHT NOW

Preston North End

Woah, look what’s happened to Preston from The Ordinary Boys/ Chantelle fame. He’s been bitten by the ’80s bug, which is unfortunate because Lord knows no-one cares for that particular decade at the moment. What terrible timing on his part. This is his new single, ‘Dressed To Kill’, and, weirdly, not only does it feature the word ‘kill’ in the title (just like La Roux!) the video features a lot of black and red (just like La Roux!). Ah, the ’80s…

It’s a long way from this isn’t it?

Is that a good thing? Answers on a postcard to We Preferred That Song They Did With Lady Sovereign, PO Box 925, London.

Florence of Arabia

The other night Musick was witness to an EXCLUSIVE (open to anyone) gig for the launch of Florence & The Machine’s new album, Lungs. The EXCLUSIVE (open to anyone) gig was held at the Rivoli Ballroom, which looked a little something like this:

It was like a whore’s boudoir, only cleaner and less pungent.

Florence and her machine were in good form and I think the following photo goes some way to capturing the magic she was able to produce onstage:

Amazing.

There was also a bit near the end where she arched her back and nearly went into a crab position, which is better then La Roux and Little Boots combined and is probably why she got a Brit award and they didn’t. We very nearly captured that moment in this photo here:

Wow. And you thought we were only good for tossing out a few words hither and dither. As you can see, we’re pretty amazing photographers too.

New Musick Monday

There’s very little need to rake over the trauma of the results of this week’s chart positions. As has been widely reported both here and elsewhere, Michael Jackson‘s ‘Man In The Mirror’ was beaten to the number 1 spot by a track called ‘Evacuate The Dancefloor’ by Cascada. Investigations are currently underway and the chart police hope to have some answers soon. For the time being, all we ask is for your patience during these traumatic times. Elsewhere, La Roux‘s debut album shifted around 60,000 copies to enter at number 2, cementing her place at the top of the ‘fingers-crossed-at-least-one-of-these-new-for-2009-acts-sells-some-records’ league.

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Lungs by Florence & The Machine

We’re going to be honest right here and say we had huge reservations about Florence & The Machine. ‘Kiss With A Fist’ felt a bit too studied and mannered, whilst the image and the interviews created a kind of caricature of ‘kooky’. Luckily, we’re usually very wrong about most things, and Lungs is a fantastic debut that gets better with repeated listens. From the lush, harp-drenched ‘Rabbit Heart’ to the vein-popping emotion of ‘Girl With One Eye’ to the pure pop of ‘Hurricane Drunk’, it’s an album that will surprise, enthrall and annoy in equal measure. Plus, she’s brilliant live.

BOGLE ALL THE WAY TO THE SHOP AND STEAL A COPY

Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do by Major Lazer

For those not familiar with the concept behind Major Lazer, allow us to enlighten. Major Lazer is a one-armed Jamaican commando who battles the forces of darkness in a zombie war, whilst also running a night club. Said night club specialises in fusing dancehall with electro, or reggae with surf guitars, R&B with house, etc, etc. It’s an intoxicating listen. In reality, the album is the work of producers Diplo and Switch, who have previously worked with acts like M.I.A, Santigold, Spank Rock and Tricky. Unlike the recently released N.A.S.A album (another producer-lead enterprise complete with starry line-up), Major Lazer have created an album that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It also features some beats Missy would giver her left arm for (soz Missy. Call me yeah, we need to talk about that money you owe me).

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‘Shark In The Water’ by V.V. Brown

Sometimes a simple, summery pop song is all it takes. ‘Shark In The Water’ is V.V. Brown’s third single, and is the kind of three minutes that make you think, “wow, this would sound brilliant on the radio”. Unfortunately, most radio stations seem to disagree, which given the bilge they do play is frankly astonishing. Brown has recently ranted at this mystery via Twitter, which at 140 characters only, somewhat inhibits her disbelief. Then again, “what the fuck” is only thirteen characters long and seems to sum it up.

New Musick Monday

After a week of chart hiatus, we’re back with a bang this week. OK, picking La Roux and Florence & The Machine was never what you’d descirbe as a risk, but still, you’ve got to be in it to win it. La Roux’s ‘Bulletproof’ soared in at no.1 whilst her raven-haired counterpart just missed the top ten, at no.12. Even the Gossip album made the top twenty, more evidence if any were needed of Musick’s almost Shamanistic promotional qualities.

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La Roux by La Roux

In a way, despite it’s title, pop music is meant to be divisive. Lots of people hate Madonna or Kylie or the Sugababes and will write numerous vitriolic forum posts to prove it. That’s good, no-one wants to please everyone all the time, surely? La Roux front woman Elly Jackson seems to have got up plenty of noses on her way to being a bona fide pop star, and this debut album is packed full of potential singles, meaning she’s not going away any time soon. ‘In For The Kill’, Bulletproof’ and ‘Quicksand’ are all deft eighties-saturated gems, whilst ‘I’m Not Your Toy’, ‘Fascination’ and ‘Colourless Colour’ show there’s more to the duo then just a falsetto and some cheap synths.

BORROW THIS FROM JAKE

Wilco (The Album) by Wilco

Wilco are often called the “American Radiohead“. Well, they were probably called it once and then that was referred to by another journalist, which was then picked up by another and so the lie is perpetuated. Wilco aren’t Radiohead, they’re Wilco, do you see? Anyway, this is their new album and it features a camel on the cover, wearing a party hat. This alone is reason enough to be interested, but luckily it also contains some pretty amazing music. All in all, it’s better then their last one which was pretty dull, but not as good as their best one which is A Ghost Is Born.

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‘Man In The Mirror’ by Michael Jackson

For reasons unknown to us at least, this has become the front runner to reach number 1 following Michael Jackson’s untimely death. Given the ubiquity of ‘Billie Jean’, ‘Thriller’ et al, perhaps a song that didn’t reach the top twenty on its initial release but somehow seems to sum Jackson up – the allusions to changing the world and your appearance – has made it stand out. Whatever the reason, ‘Man In The Mirror’ is an epic song, all slow-burn build-up, finger clicks, choirs and that pained, soulful voice. In general, we’ve been surprised at how well the Bad album stands the test of time. Well done Michael.

New Musick Monday

This is something of a bumper edition this week, with four products on display for your delectation. But first, let’s have a look at how last week’s single, Gossip’s ‘Heavy Cross’, performed yesterday…er, no.40. And people say they’re a one hit wonder act with no hope of a repeat. The biggest shock was seeing Little Boots’ debut album, Hands, drop from no.5 to no.40 in its second week. Fickle, you people are very fickle.

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Music For Men by Gossip

Yeah, so ‘Heavy Cross’ may have only sold 48 copies or something but this Rick Rubin-produced album is packed with punk-funk-disco-diva singles in waiting. Beth Ditto we all know about – big voice, big waist, big face – but it’s her two faceless bandmates (although drummer Hannah’s face appears on the cover) that come into their own, offering up elastic grooves and some fiery guitar lines. So what if they only have one hit single, that’s one more then you’ll ever have.

SECRETLY BORROW THIS FROM A FRIEND

Everything Is New by Jack Peñate

We’re not going to go through it all again, but basically Peñate used to be a bit rubbish and then he hooked up with a good producer (Paul Epworth) and decided to reinvent his sound using some of today’s more successful genres; bit of tropicalia here, a dash of Afrobeat there, a smattering of house and just a dose of Peruvian jazz-folk fusion. All in all, a tasty concoction. Opener ‘Pull My Heart Away’ is possibly the best opening track of any album listed on this page today.

YOU MUST MAKE A CHOICE

As we all know, 2009 is the year of the woman or some such nonsense. Little Boots, Lady Gaga, Paloma Faith, Pixie Lott, etc, etc, all have a vagina and a voice each and are all signed to record companies and are releasing music for us to buy. Add to that list La Roux and Florence & The Machine, two people with vaginas, voices AND red hair, making them bitter rivals in the world of music. Some are calling their chart battle the musical equivalent of Israel versus Palestine, but we see it more as Venus versus Serena; two equally talented women, both capable of great things serving up a couple of aces…or something.

‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ by Florence & The Machine

Twinkly harps, pounding drums and a voice you could wrap yourself in for weeks, this is a BIG sounding song. Written after a falling out with her record company – they asked her to make something more immediate – it’s a song to be sung from the rooftops, possibly whilst drunk.

‘Bulletproof’ by La Roux

From the layered, lush sounds of Florence to the brittle, tinny sounds of La Roux. ‘Bulletproof’ is the single that was meant to make up for the failure of ‘In For The Kill’, but seeing as that peaked at no.2 the chances of this turning La Roux into a genuine pop are ‘fair’ to ‘fucking obviously going to happen’.